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The role of beliefs, trust, and risk in contributions to a public good

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Author Info

  • Kocher, Martin G.

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Munich)

  • Martinsson, Peter

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Matzat, Dominik

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Munich)

  • Wollbrant, Conny

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

This paper experimentally investigates the role of beliefs, trust, and risk in shaping cooperative behavior. By applying incentivized elicitation methods to measure these concepts, we find that beliefs about others’ behavior and trust are positively associated with cooperation in a public goods game. However, even though contributing unconditionally to a public good resembles a situation of making decisions under risk, elicited risk preferences do not seem to explain cooperation in a systematic way.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/24123
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 482.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 12 Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0482

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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Related research

Keywords: Public goods; cooperation; risk preferences; trust; experiment;

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References

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  1. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2001. "Social Capital and Community Governance," Working Papers, Santa Fe Institute 01-01-003, Santa Fe Institute.
  2. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments," Discussion Papers, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham 2009-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
  4. Matthias Cinyabuguma & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2004. "Cooperation Under the Threat of Expulsion in a Public Goods Experiment," Working Papers 2004-05, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Kocher, Martin G. & Cherry, Todd & Kroll, Stephan & Netzer, Robert J. & Sutter, Matthias, 2008. "Conditional cooperation on three continents," Munich Reprints in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 18211, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  7. Simon Gaechter & Elke Renner, 2010. "The effects of (incentivized) belief elicitation in public goods experiments," Discussion Papers, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham 2010-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  8. Lisa Anderson & Jennifer Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2004. "Social Capital and Contributions in a Public Goods Experiment," Working Papers 0317, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
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  18. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  21. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  22. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846, August.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  23. Leonard, Tammy & Croson, Rachel T.A. & de Oliveira, Angela C.M., 2010. "Social capital and public goods," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 474-481, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kocher, Martin G. & Martinsson, Peter & Myrseth, Kristian Ove R. & Wollbrant, Conny, 2012. "Strong, Bold, and Kind: Self-Control and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas," Discussion Papers in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 12706, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Michalis Drouvelis & Julian C. Jamison, 2012. "Selecting public goods institutions: who likes to punish and reward?," Working Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 12-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  3. Robert Oxoby, 2013. "Paretian dictators: constraining choice in a voluntary contribution game," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 125-138, June.

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